Navigation Links
Experts Keep Wary Eye on Tamiflu-Resistant Swine Flu
Date:7/8/2009

Isolated cases seem mild for now, but future remains uncertain

WEDNESDAY, July 8 (HealthDay News) -- Health experts say they can't predict at this point how widely a new strain of swine flu resistant to the drug Tamiflu will spread, or how dangerous it might become.

"This is not unexpected, but it's very unpredictable whether this will end up spreading," said Dr. John J. Treanor, professor of medicine and of microbiology and immunology at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York.

"There is certainly a potential for the novel H1 viruses to develop resistance to oseltamivir [Tamiflu] and for those resistant viruses to become widespread," he added. "Everyone recognizes that. That is the Achilles' heel of antiviral therapy and it's completely possible that we will see this with the novel H1N1."

"This is expected to a certain extent," agreed Dr. Manjusha Gaglani, associate professor of pediatrics at Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine and a pediatric infectious diseases specialist at Scott & White Hospital.

Strains of the "regular" seasonal flu often become resistant to antiviral drugs but, generally speaking, antiviral resistance is less common with Tamiflu and a related antiviral drug, Relenza, than it is with two other drugs, amantadine and rimantadine, which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended against using for seasonal flu.

Tamiflu is preferred over Relenza in general because it is easier to administer, Gaglani said.

So far, three people have been stricken in recent weeks by a resistant strain of the new H1N1 swine flu virus -- one in the United States, one in Denmark and one in Japan, according to published reports.

In all three cases, the illnesses were mild and all of the patients recovered.

Tamiflu is the main weapon available in the effort to prevent and treat H1N1 infections. As of yet, there is no vaccine for the H1N1 swine flu.

There is one troubling aspect to the resistance developments however: One of the people who fell ill had had no known contact with Tamiflu.

"This is a little bit more disturbing," Treanor said. "It seems to be a spontaneously arising virus. How did that happen?"

More widespread resistance could come from one of two scenarios, Treanor said.

The first would be if the virus develops mutations in people who are being treated with Tamiflu and then spreads to others.

The second would involve a random genetic reassortment, in which the new swine flu and the seasonal flu exchange genes. "The current seasonal viruses are resistant to Tamiflu," Treanor said. "We could see a get-together resulting in a hybrid which…potentially could be able to infect people more easily."

But it's also possible that changes in the genetic structure of the H1N1 swine flu virus could reduce the likelihood of transmission, Treanor said.

Gaglani stressed that, at this point, there is no evidence that the seasonal flu has mixed with the swine flu. That would be a concern because last year's seasonal flu was resistant to Tamiflu, she said.

"We need to monitor now what is circulating and what proportion are resistant to Tamiflu," Gaglani said. That will guide future treatment decisions.

There has been speculation that overuse of the drug has contributed to the new drug resistance but, at this point, that is another unknown, and people who fall ill do need to be treated.

"I don't know how much that's being driven by use of the drug," Treanor said. "I think the drug should be used where indicated. If resistance happens, it's going to happen, but we have to use medicine to treat sick people appropriately."

On June 11, the World Health Organization declared the first flu pandemic since 1968, triggered by the rapid spread of the H1N1 swine flu virus across North America, Australia, South America, Europe and regions beyond. Two weeks ago, U.S. health officials said they were considering a swine flu immunization campaign that could involve an unprecedented 600 million doses of vaccine. But a vaccine does not yet exist.

More information

Find out the latest on the swine flu outbreak at the CDC.



SOURCES: John J. Treanor, M.D., professor, medicine and of microbiology and immunology, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, N.Y.; Manjusha Gaglani, M.D., associate professor, pediatrics, Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, and pediatrician, Scott & White Hospital, Temple, Texas; Associated Press


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Research Links TV/Video Game Playing With Child Obesity; Health Experts Back a New Approach
2. MultiVu Video Feed: PUBLIC HEALTH EXPERTS CONVENE TO DISCUSS THE TREATMENT AND PREVENTION OF RABIES
3. Health IT Event Draws Experts to the Pacific Northwest
4. Experts Sort Out Good Fats From Bad
5. Experts Offer Tips on Lung Cancer Prevention
6. March of Dimes, Experts for Moms and Babies, Launches Podcast
7. World fertility experts to meet in Montreal - IVF and IVM patients to provide first-person accounts at 14th World Congress
8. Bay IVF Experts Launch One of First East-West Fertility Programs of Its Kind
9. Experts propose cholesterol tests at 15 months of age
10. Experts Publish New Lung Disease Guidelines
11. Experts, Advocates Available to Comment on Hillary Clintons Health Care Plan
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Experts Keep Wary Eye on Tamiflu-Resistant Swine Flu 
(Date:2/18/2017)... ... ... Butler Mobility invited Ken Matthews to visit its manufacturing facility and showroom ... impressed with the safety and reliability of the Stannah Stairlift as well as with ... endorsement by Ken Matthews can be heard on News Radio WHP 580 weekdays from ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... , ... February 17, 2017 , ... Smiles by Seese ... Center in Davidson, NC. Dr. Brian Seese leads the practice as a skilled and ... under one roof. Smiles by Seese serves patients of all ages with excellence in ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... ... February 17, 2017 , ... ... Feb. 22, 2017 — 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. ET, http://www.fdanews.com/deviceapproval ... asking before selecting an FDA approval pathway? , How should they evaluate ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... ... February 17, 2017 , ... Program will ... Trinity Health and the U.S. Soccer Foundation announced today that they have awarded ... Soccer for Success, the Foundation’s soccer mentoring program, teaches kids the fundamentals of ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... ... ... Like most hospitals across the nation, Onslow Memorial Hospital is looking for ... Reduction Program (HRRP), the return of a patient to the hospital within 30 days ... many providers are struggling to leverage limited resources and technology, Onslow Memorial Hospital has ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/18/2017)... 17, 2017   Parker Waichman LLP, ... rights of victims injured by medical devices, comments ... call for better reporting. Congress required hospitals to ... concerns involving power morcellators and duodenoscopes prompted the ... how hospitals report injuries and deaths related to ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... CINCINNATI , Feb. 17, 2017  Ethicon, ... Torax Medical, Inc., a privately held medical device ... Reflux Management System, a novel minimally invasive ... acquisition of Torax Medical will enable Ethicon to ... the anatomy-altering laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication surgical procedure. 1 ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... (NYSE, TASE: PRGO) today announced it has received final approval ... and homatropine methylbromide oral solution (syrup), 5 mg/1.5 mg per ... oral solution (syrup), 5 mg/1.5 mg per 5 mL is ... children 6 years of age and older. Annual sales for ...   ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: